Woman: decongestant brought meth charge in Ala

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Unless she wins her appeal, a 45-year-old Mississippi woman will serve a year in jail for going to Alabama to buy a box of Sudafed. Diana Avera said she was just trying to avoid an ear infection on a scuba trip.

Diane Avera was convicted in Demopolis of second-degree intent to make methamphetamine. She is seeking a new trial. If she doesn’t get one, she plans to appeal to the Alabama Court of Appeals, she told The Clarion-Ledger.

It’s been a nightmare, said Avera, who does personal care for the sick, disabled and elderly. “I keep thinking I’m going to wake up, but I never do.”

Her scuba instructor, Bob Sample, said he had urged her to buy Sudafed or similar decongestant because she had ear trouble. “I told her to go get some three days out and get your sinuses dried up,” he said.

Avera said she waited too late for the prescription required in Mississippi because pseudoephedrine can be used to make methamphetamine.

So she went to Alabama.

She and her son bought the drug at different stores in Demopolis. A sting was going on, in which pharmacists told police when anyone from Mississippi bought medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

Her son bought his at a drugstore; Avera said she bought hers at a Walmart because she had a gift card.

She was pulled over after she left the store. She told the newspaper that she told police both boxes of the drug were hers and she made crystal meth because that was the only way she could get permission for her son to drive home with three children — her grandsons and his girlfriend’s nephew.